In the legal world, a warrant makes up the basis for an individual’s arrest. Anytime law enforcement suspects that someone has committed a crime, they must first obtain a warrant to legally arrest the accused. Whether you have a warrant out for your arrest or have been issued a bench warrant, your case requires the legal knowledge of an experienced firm.

At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we boast all of the following:

  • 24/7 availability
  • Named 2010 – 2018 100 Top Lawyers in Illinois by Super Lawyers®
  • 40-plus years of experience
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  • Experience as former felony prosecutors

Our firm can supply you with the legal knowledge and representation you need during this time to ensure that your charges do not escalate unnecessarily. With criminal defense lawyers ready to serve all of DuPage County, you do not have to go without an advocate.


Although similar, these two types of warrants have very different purposes when used by law enforcement. An arrest warrant always precedes a bench warrant, as it is issued by the court the first time a police officer suspects you are guilty of committing a crime.

Arrest Warrants

An arrest warrant is issued by the court before you have been charged with a crime. The court order essentially gives the officer a way to legally arrest you and details the conditions of your bail bond. Typically, this warrant also orders you to come to court for your initial hearing.

In order to obtain an arrest warrant, police officers must present certain facts to the judge, often stemming from a criminal investigation. A judge will review the facts of the situation and if they decide there is probable cause that you have committed a crime, they can issue the warrant. An officer can then proactively show up at your home or workplace to execute the warrant and place you under arrest.

There can be several problems with arrest warrants, and a skilled criminal defense attorney can identify such issues and use them to your benefit whenever possible. For example, if a warrant was not valid under the law, a lawyer can argue that your arrest was in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights and, therefore, any evidence stemming from your arrest—such as a confession—should be suppressed in your case. An arrest warrant can be deemed invalid for many reasons, including:

  • The officers provided false information on which the judge relied
  • There was not enough substantiating information or facts to constitute probable cause
  • The party who signed the warrant was not a “neutral and detached magistrate,” as required by the Supreme Court
  • The warrant was overly broad and did not adequately detail which parties persons could be arrested under the warrant

Another common issue with arrest warrants is that the bail specified in the warrant is excessive for the circumstances. It is critical to have an attorney review your bail so they can argue for a fair amount at a bail hearing as soon as possible after your arrest. Also, remember that after you are arrested on a warrant, you have the right to remain silent and not answer police questions, as well as the right to an attorney right away. You should never hesitate to exercise these rights, as it is almost always in your best interest.

Bench Warrants

If you fail to come into court after receiving an arrest warrant or miss a trial date, a bench warrant will be issued. Bench warrants are issued anytime an individual is in contempt of the court and applies to both criminal and civil court proceedings. If you fail to comply with a court order, you could have a bench warrant and not even realize it. For instance, many people unknowingly have bench warrants issued when they fail to pay child support for a certain period of time.

If there is a bench warrant issued against you, you can be arrested on the spot if pulled over by an officer. When you get pulled over or come into contact with police, they can see on your record that you have a bench warrant and trust us, they will not hesitate to act on that warrant. Remember, when you are arrested, always call a defense attorney as soon as possible.

One of the primary reasons for bench warrants is the failure to appear in court. If you receive a traffic ticket and fail to pay it or show up to your court date, you can have a bench warrant issued no matter how seemingly minor the ticket was. Additionally, many people who receive a criminal court summons may think if they ignore the matter, it will go away. This is definitely not the case, as the situation will only escalate to an active warrant issued for your arrest. Instead of forgetting about a ticket or trying to hide from a criminal charge, call our defense attorneys immediately so they can begin handling your case for you.


Many times, officers arrest people under conditions that were not legally warranted, which could be extremely valuable to your defense if this happens to you. In order to determine if this is the case, you need to get a DuPage criminal defense attorney on your side.

Contact Martin & Kent, L.L.C. today at (630) 474-8000! We look forward to speaking with you and working on your defense.